Cheap mid-life crisis convertible


Cheap, American-made used convertibles with back seats, good fuel economy, respectable safety ratings. Any suggestions for a 43-year-old woman’s cheap mid life crisis


Oh, yeah, I want a manual transmission and good fuel economy. A roll bar would be nice. The 1990s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme would be nice. As would Cavalier and Sunfire convertibles. Why doesn’t GM make more of its full size cars into convertibles, like the Impala? or the Monte Carlo. Or the now defunct Buick Regal or Century. The LaCrosse and Lucerne wouldn’t turn me on as convertibles. It seems like only Chrysler has the guts to make five seater convertibles. I don’t know about you, but I at least like to imagine that I have more than one friend that would like to ride to the beach with me in a convertible.


As far as I know, no one currently sells a 5 passenger convertible. I don’t know what recent domestic convertibles are still available in the used market. I suspect 4 passenger is the best you are going to do.


Know this. Convertibles are summer toys that must be kept garaged. They make very poor family cars. That’s why few are offered. The nicest ones are Roadsters, 2-seaters. For YOUR needs, the mundane Mustang is about it.


Not American made but American owned by GM.

The best choice IMHO that fits all your criteria especially the safest by far is the Saab convertible.


Naa, my parents always had convertibles when I was growing up, and that was in NH. As long as the kids are old enough to get in and out of the back seat by themselves and you don’t have more than two kids convertible coupes are fine as year around cars.

Life’s short. Enjoy it.

  • mountainbike


She said “cheap,” and there ain’t nothin’ cheap about a Saab convertible.


How cheap?? I would sugest an early-mid 90’s Lebaron Convertible if you want super cheap, and 1/2 OK mileage. For a little more you can get the Chrysler Sebring, although it had some maitnence issues. Only the Lebaron had a 5-speed but good luck finding one they are RARE…I have only seen one. Both of these cars could be found for under $5,000. Moveing up a little The Caviler is nice but spring for the Z24. Up a lttle more In Ford land you have the Mustang.


I’m afraid the words “cheap” and “convertible” don’t mix unless it’s rolling junk.

If safety and multiple seating is key, then I’d be looking at the used Chrysler lineup.

Be prepared to peel off some green backs for a good one though.


I picked up a 91 Mazda Miata at our credit union’s repo lot for $1,700 with it’s fair share of dents, dings and blown clutch.

The prime selling points were that the body was rust free, the top wasn’t ripped the interior was in excellent shape and it hadn’t been in an accident.

A new clutch and pressure plate, head light, shifter boot and two tires is all that we have put into the car in the three years we have owned it. It runs like a top and gets 42 MPH highway.

The point is that good used ones are out there, but you have to be very well informed or have a trustworthy mechanic to help you through the process.

Hope you find one.



My brother had a $2000 80’s Saab 900s Convertible in college. He had to replace top but it made it four years without major problems.


Things have changed a lot since the days of the 900.


Miata does not fit the criteria. No back seat.


I drove an 89 saab 900 turbo (sedan) for almost 300K miles without any significant expenses. I don’t know about the quality of the GM/Saabs.


How much are you willing to spend? You might find a Cavalier or Sunfire with a manual transmission, but the larger convertibles will all be automatics. You are moe likely to find a traditional foreign brand witha manual transmission.


An old 60s or 70s Cadillac El Dorado convertible fits your criteria for a 5 seater that’s pretty safe, but the fuel economy will suck.
Although, if you hit someone head on, you might be able to pick their wrecked car up cheap, as a hood ornament. :stuck_out_tongue:


An old Eldo convertible in good shape won’t be cheap. Nor will parts. But it would definitely fill the 5-passenger criterion.

  • mountainbike


This is the midlife crisis convertible that I want (for sale at my indy mechanic’s place):

My wife is not amused.


“sucks” is certainly understating it.


Perfect midlife chickmobile, heck I would like one! but it ain’t that cheap.